the world’s largest wealth manager, and Village
Capital, an organization that finds, trains and invests in
entrepreneurs solving real-world problems, today announced the launch of
Pathways program. VC Pathways is a
national program that will train and support African American, Latinx
and female founders to increase their competitiveness for seed-stage
venture investment and early-stage incubator and accelerator programs.
UBS and Village Capital will launch the VC Pathways program in
Philadelphia, Chicago and Atlanta, each of which were identified for
their potential to support early-stage ventures. Key to the
implementation of the program are the local entrepreneur support
organizations partnered with VC Pathways in each city, which include
Philadelphia-based Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Atlanta-based
Goodie Nation and Chicago-based I’m Black In Tech and Blue 1647.
VC Pathways will work with these partners to select a cohort of founders
in each city to participate in a three-month program that provides
entrepreneurs with hands-on training, advice and tailored engagements
from mentors, investors, UBS executives and Financial Advisors who will
help their companies become investment-ready.
"VC Pathways is an invaluable extension of UBS's ongoing commitment to
advancing inclusive entrepreneurship," says Jamie Sears, UBS Head of
Community Affairs, Americas. "Many of our clients are entrepreneurs in
these cities, so we are excited to be playing a part in strengthening
the pipeline of diverse founders and giving startups access to
investors, best-in-class training, and other resources that will help
their businesses succeed."
"There is no shortage of potential among underrepresented founders. They
have firsthand experience in solving critical issues faced by the
majority of the US population," says Allie Burns, Managing Director of
Village Capital. "What’s lacking is the social capital and tangible
resources to scale these solutions. We’re hoping that, through this
program, startups will gain exposure to the thought-process behind
investment decisions and a framework to use milestones to clearly
communicate their growth and success."
Defining and meeting business milestones is an important indicator of
success for high-growth startups. Having a roadmap to demonstrate these
to investors is critical to helping founders move away from
over-reliance on "friends and family" funding and focus instead on other
early-stage investors. To assist with this, each local VC Pathways
program will provide:
Guidance through Village Capital’s VIRAL curriculum. Every
entrepreneur in a VC Pathways program will receive training on the
Venture Investment Readiness Awareness Level (VIRAL) curriculum, which
helps entrepreneurs set and surpass specific milestones to make them
competitive when raising capital.
Connections to angel investors. The VC Pathways program will
facilitate formal and informal interactions between startups and angel
investors and provide access to a Startup Heat Map, which identifies
monetary and in-kind resources at every funding level.
Tangible business support. The program will also provide
resources for building a business, including Amazon Web Services (up
to $5,000 in credits), access to a Kiva Zip Loan worth up to $10,000,
up to $2,000 in grant funding awarded for hitting certain program
milestones and network-building opportunities.
Participants in the three-month program will be primarily high-growth
businesses that are tech-enabled, pre-seed or seed stage ventures, with
an established minimum viable product and have less than $500,000 in
revenue or raised funds. Priority will be given to startups solving
problems within Village Capital’s five investment areas: Education,
Healthcare, Financial Technology, Agriculture and Energy.
For more information about the VC Pathways offering and key local
program dates, visit: https://vilcap.com/program/vcpathways/.
To learn more about UBS's additional inclusive entrepreneurship programs
through the UBS Elevating Entrepreneurs initiative, visit: https://www.ubs.com/microsites/elevating-entrepreneurs/en/home.html
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